This train of thought has to do, in part, with the arrival of our new grandson, Luka Yves. I loved the suggestion of a fellow-blogger, when I first wrote about his birth, that I should ask the newborn where he came from. She thinks there might be a small window of opportunity when the baby still remembers; and, holding baby Luka and looking into his glowing little face, I did myself think about this very question. Indeed, quietly, I asked him. But I had no idea how to communicate the question other than in thought, or to understand his answer if there was one. I am not possessed of the requisite intuitive skills--or, if I am so possessed, have no idea how to put them to use. But my friend's suggestion reminded me of a workshop I once took with a Huichol Indian shaman, who said that in their tribe the custom is not to "give" a newborn child a name as we do in our culture, but to wait and ask the baby, "Tell me who you are." I like the idea.
Last week, a new book came into my hands, by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. It's called--surely not coincidentally--"The Truth of Rebirth." I'm looking forward to finding out more about this subject from the Theravadan point of view. Meantime, I also plan to revisit other teachings about the after-death, including the Christian ones with which I was brought up. I'll be thinking about my own mother and father, their ashes resting side by side in the grave plot close by a tiny church overlooking the Cardigan Bay, in Wales. I'll be reflecting on my own, single, but intense experience with the vision of past lives. And, to take things a little more lightly, I'm sure I'll be thinking about archy and mehitabel.
So this morning I'm wondering if there might be anyone out there, any reader of The Buddha Diaries, who has either thoughts or experience in this matter. Do you have your own personal convictions or theories? Do you know of past lives? Of communications from realms other than our own small world? I'd love to hear about them, and to incorporate them in my own thinking along the way. It can be done privately: my email address is PeterAtLarge@mac.com. Best thanks in advance to anyone who can help with this.